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Target Upgraded From Sell To Buy

Perhaps the boldest call of the day, widely followed Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig raised her rating on Target clear across the specturm to 'buy' from 'sell' with no stops in-between.

That’s a big jump – so big, that we asked Weinswing to join us on Fast Money to defend herself. (Well, maybe not defend so much as give us some background.)

And her thesis is solid.

She told us that although rival discounters, particularly Wal-Mart have benefited from the downturn as consumers switch to cheaper items and focus on necessities Target has lagged.

That weakness was largely because a sizable chunk of Target's profits came from non-essentials such as bed spreads and funky clocks – things that the cash strapped consumer can do without.

However, Target has recently changed its strategy – becoming more Walmart like, if you will. With a greater focus on food through its "P-Fresh" format, Weinswig expects profits to get a boost. She’s also likes their lower apparel inventory levels and improved fashion offerings.

"We believe TGT has a long runway of productivity improvements ahead,” she concluded. As a result she rates the stock a buy and increased her target price to $61 from $44 .

Karen Finerman is bullish too. I’m already long Target, she says.


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Trader disclosure: On October 28th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (EEM), (INTC), (MSFT), (FXI); Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (EXPE) Calls

Najarian Owns (GE) Calls; Najarian Owns (LAZ) & (LAZ) Puts; Najarian Owns (MYL); Najarian Owns (RIMM) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (YHOO) & (YHOO) Puts; Terranova Owns (IBM), (QCOM), (GS); Finerman Owns (PDE), (TGT), (WMT), (BAC); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (PDE), (PBR), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO), (UNG);

For
Deborah Weinswig
Citi Owns (TGT)
Citi Has Received Compensation for Investment Banking from (TGT)
(TGT) Has Been A Client Of Citi in the Past 12 Months
Citi Has Acted As Manager Of An Offering of Securities of (WMT)
Citi Has Received Compensation for Investment Banking from (WMT)
(WMT) Has Been A Client Of Citi in the Past 12 Months
Citi Is Market Maker in Shares of (WMT)

For
Rich Repetto
Sandler O'Neill Expects To Receive Compensation from (CME)
Sandler O'Neill Expects To Receive Compenation from (NYX)

For Brian Kelly
Kelly Owns (QCOM)
Kelly Owns (ORCL)


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